Brighton manager Graham Potter has revealed he has the “utmost respect” for Sam Allardyce’s 30-year managerial career.
The Seagulls travel to the Hawthorns to take on 19th-placed West Brom on Saturday looking to bounce back from their last-gasp 2-1 defeat to rivals Crystal Palace on Monday.
Allardyce took his first role as player-manager of Irish side Limerick in 1991 and was appointed West Brom boss in December, with the Baggies 19th in the table.
“You’re looking at a man with fantastic experience at the highest level. He’s worked at a lot of clubs in the Premier League,” Potter said.
“I remember his Bolton team which was a really exciting side with Jay Jay Okocha. They played really attacking, effective football.
“You can’t have a career that Sam Allardyce has had without being incredibly competent. That’s the truth.
“I have the utmost respect for people with that longevity. Just to survive in this game, you have to respect that.
“He’s not only survived, but he’s improved his teams, improved the players and won football matches.
“When people talk about coaching, to me, that’s it. There’s no right or wrong, there’s no, ‘My way’s better or worse than anybody else’.
“It’s, ‘Have you got a way and do you make it work?’ The answer with Sam’s teams is yes.”
Potter’s side have beaten Tottenham and champions Liverpool in recent weeks, but Monday’s loss, in which Brighton had 25 attempts at goal compared to Palace’s three, left them just four points above the relegation zone.
Allardyce faces perhaps his toughest task yet to keep West Brom up, with the Baggies having taken just three points from their last seven games to lie 11 points from safety.
He has earned his reputation by saving sides from relegation rather than challenging at the top of the league and his style of play has come in for criticism, but Potter believes there is no chance of anyone in the game failing to acknowledge his achievements.
“I don’t know about respect. He has huge respect from me,” the Brighton boss added.
“I think it’s more that things go round in circles. It’s a bit like trends. Some things are trendy and some things aren’t.
“At the end of the day, you look at the guy’s career and what’s done over a period of time. That’s not a trend, that’s a quality of work.
“And that’s why football people have huge respect for Sam Allardyce.”
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